MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Kenya earned about 157 billion shillings (about 1.55 billion
U.S. dollars) from tourism in 2018, up from 1.18 billion dollars
in 2017, reflecting a 31.26 percent growth, a government
official said on Monday.
Najib Balala, cabinet
secretary in the ministry of tourism and wildlife, said
international visitor arrivals increased from 1.47 million in
2017 to 2.02 million in 2018, representing a growth of about 37
"Kenya’s tourism performance for the year 2018 has seen a
substantial improvement compared to 2017 in both tourism
arrivals, domestic tourism performance and earnings," said
Balala who presented the tourism sector performance report 2018
to President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa.
He said that domestic tourism bed occupancy increased from
3.64 million in 2017 to 3.97 million in 2018, depicting a 9
Balala singled out the improvement of infrastructure at the
tourism resorts in the Coast and across the country as a key
contributor to the growth as well as political stability and
The report cites political stability, improved security,
growth in the aviation sector including the direct flights to
the U.S. and investor confidence as some of the drivers for the
growth witnessed in sector last year.
Balala said revitalised marketing efforts such as digital
marketing and global campaigns and hosting of international
conferences including the first ever global conference on
Sustainable Blue Economy and the Africa Hotels Investment Forum
also contributed to the growth.
The report shows that the top market source for foreign
tourists to Kenya is the U.S., with 225,157 travelers which
represents 11.12 percent of the total arrivals.